As part of Fiat Chrysler’s ongoing manufacturing reorganization in North America the company explained it will add 2,000 new jobs to the its ranks by 2020, the automaker announced yesterday, perhaps hoping to avoid being the next Twitter target of President-elect Donald Trump.
The automaker has been shifting its production in Michigan and Ohio to focus on trucks and SUVs, and is in the midst of a $1 billion plan to make that happen. The moves also include some movement of jobs from Mexico to Michigan, FCA officials noted.
After Trump began calling out automakers on Twitter in recent weeks, many have been attempting to put their best foot forward, emphasizing manufacturing plans that have been shifting small car production to Mexico also net more jobs for the U.S. plants building the more profitable and popular trucks and utility vehicles.
Regardless of how the new positions were created, the UAW is pleased they’re coming.
“We are very happy with FCA’s announcement today as it shows their commitment to the United States, UAW members and their employees,” said UAW president Dennis Williams. “This announcement confirms ongoing discussions that the UAW leadership have been engaged in with Sergio Marchionne and his team.”
(FCA shuttering Toledo Cherokee plant to prep for Wrangler. Click Here for details.)
FCA CEO Marchionne and Williams appeared to be working to avoid the possibility of being tagged in a tweet by Trump. While its expanding its Wrangler line and adding the Jeep Wagoneer, FCA is also in the process of shifting the production of its Jeep Compass to Mexico at the end of the month as part of what Marchionne has described as FCA’s “industrialization” plan, which was released last year after the company had negotiated a new contract with the UAW.
Marchionne said the announcement is the second phase of an industrialization plan announced in January 2016. The plan called for the realignment of the Company’s U.S. manufacturing operations to fully utilize available capacity to respond to a shift in market demand for trucks and SUVs, and to further expand the Jeep and Ram brands.
With the $1 billion investment, FCA US will retool and modernize the aging Warren Truck Assembly plant outside Detroit to produce the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and the south plant of the Toledo Jeep Complex to build an all-new Jeep pickup truck. These actions are planned to be completed by 2020. More than 2,000 jobs also will be added to support production of these models.
The added benefit of the investment in Warren is that it will enable the plant to produce the Ram heavy duty truck, which is currently produced in Mexico, Marchionne announced.
“The conversion of our industrial footprint completes this stage of our transformation as we respond to the shift in consumer tastes to trucks and SUVs, and as we continue to reinforce the U.S. as a global manufacturing hub for those vehicles at the heart of the SUV and truck market,” Chief Executive Officer of FCA N.V.
“These moves, which have been under discussion with Dennis Williams and the rest of the UAW leadership for some time, expand our capacity in these key segments, enabling us to meet growing demand here in the U.S., but more importantly to increase exports of our mid-size and larger vehicles to international markets.
(Click Here for more about FCA’s Jeep manufacturing plans.)
“The expansion of our Jeep lineup has been and continues to be the key pillar of our strategy. Our commitment to internationalize the Jeep brand is unwavering, and with these last moves, we will finally have the capacity to successfully penetrate markets other than the U.S. which have historically been denied product due to capacity constraints. In addition, these all-new products will reach new consumers, as well as those that have been part of the Jeep tradition,” said Marchionne.
The actions announced today are subject to the negotiation and final approval of incentives by state and local entities.
In July 2016, the company made two announcements involving production shifts at three plants to gain additional capacity for the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee and Ram Light Duty Truck.
The first announcement confirmed a more than $1 billion investment and the addition of 1,000 jobs at its Illinois and Ohio plants. The company will invest $350 million in a plant in Belvidere, Illinois, outside Chicago to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which will move from its current production location in Toledo, Ohio, in 2017. Approximately 300 new jobs would be created.
Following the move of Cherokee to Belvidere, FCA is investing $700 million in Toldeo to retool the North plant to produce the next generation Jeep Wrangler. Approximately 700 new jobs will be added.
In the second announcement, FCA US announced that it plans to invest nearly $1.5 billion in its plant in Sterling Heights to retool it to build the next generation Ram 1500. In September, the company committed to adding 700 new jobs to support production.
(Marchionne pushing for FCA manufacturing revival. For more, Click Here.)
In total, FCA US has committed investments of more than $9.6 billion in its U.S. manufacturing facilities and created 25,000 new jobs to date since 2009.